It’s not just straight, gay, or bisexual anymore. Nowadays, expanding language around sexual identities has enabled an increasing number of people; to discover and embrace their sexual identities and expressions. Demisexual is a term that is becoming more popular, but it actually falls under the asexual umbrella. But what exactly does that mean? Here’s everything you need to know about demisexuality and what it means to be a demisexual person.
What Exactly Is a Demisexual?
Demisexual people experience sexual attraction only when they have a genuine emotional bond with another person. For example, they may not feel sexually attracted to someone they meet at a coffee shop; however, if they start talking to that person and form an emotional connection, they may become sexually attracted over time.
As with any type of sexuality, there is plenty of room for nuance here. As a result, any definition of demisexuality is not absolute. It is up to the individual to truly define their own sexuality and how it manifests itself.
According to Dictionary.com, the term demisexual first appeared in 2006; when it was coined in the Asexuality Visibility & Education Network forums. By 2008, the term “demisexuality” had entered the modern lexicon; most likely as a result of others closely identifying with the term. Even some dating websites, such as OkCupid, allow people to indicate their sexual orientation by selecting ‘demisexual.’
“We are now learning that being open to fluidity in terms of lifestyle and preference; is the best approach,” said Dr. Margaret Seide, a board-certified psychiatrist, and New York University faculty member.
Types of Demisexual Sexuality
People who identify as panoramic demisexual must form a strong friendship with a romantic; interest in order for them to be viewed as such. Also, Being panromantic, these people are attracted to people of any orientation or gender identity and typically believe that their partner’s gender; has little to do with defining their relationship.
Individuals who are biromantic are romantically, but not necessarily sexually, attracted to more than one gender identity. They are similar to panromantic but are more geared towards a spectrum of genders rather than sexual orientations. Biromantic demisexuals require a strong emotional and romantic connection to someone in order to feel sexual attraction regardless of gender.
Signs that you might be a Demisexual.
If you’re wondering if you’re demisexual, take a moment to think about the last time, or last few times, you felt sexually attracted to someone. How did you go about it? Was your attraction immediate and intense, or did it develop over time as you got to know the person? Also, have you ever caught yourself fantasizing about having sex with someone with whom you don’t share an emotional bond, or does this almost never happen for you?
Based on your responses to these questions, you should have a better understanding of where you fall on the sexuality spectrum. However, if you’re still unsure, here are a few signs of demisexuality:
1. It takes time to develop a sexual attraction.
If you think back on your previous romantic partners and didn’t find them attractive at first, you might be demisexual. “Demisexuals typically take their time in developing relationships; may not see a person as attractive or sexually arousing until after weeks or months of knowing them;” says AASECT-certified sex therapist Indigo Stray Conger, LMFT, CST.
2. You don’t have a bunch of random celebrity crushes.
“You may be demisexual if you do not experience even mild arousal or excitation when watching movies or seeing photos of celebrities,” says Conger. “Demisexuals respond less to visual arousal cues and usually only identify a person as attractive when they have more than just an image to base that attraction on.”
3. You have crushes on people in your inner circle.
According to Queen, it’s extremely common for demisexuals to develop feelings of attraction toward good friends or others with whom they have a strong connection or intimacy.
“Because feelings of connection or intimacy function as the key to unlocking sexual attraction; it is quite possible that a demisexual will experience more sexual feelings for their good friends than either an asexual or allosexual would, though this would not be out of the allosexual range entirely,” she explains.
4. You’re probably not interested in one-night stands or random hookups.
Demisexual people may “find themselves turned off or entirely disinterested in hookups; sex parties and other versions of sports sex,’ or sex with people they don’t already know,” according to Queen.
5. You prefer activities for intimate dates.
“Activities that encourage getting to know someone on a much deeper level are preferred for a demisexual,” Queen says. “Going to the movies, for example, may work as long as there is good conversation and an exploration of how the movie made you think and feel about a specific subject. As emotions and bonding emerge within the context of the relationship, the proclivity for sexual attraction may begin to bloom; however, this is only after a sufficient amount of time has passed learning about each other and waiting for attraction to develop.”
6. You don’t have a “personality type.”
While most people can instantly describe the physical characteristics of their ideal partner, this isn’t always the case for someone who identifies as demisexual. “You may find yourself attracted to a variety of different people and find that looks are secondary to their personality; character, and how you bond together as a team,” says Megwyn White, certified clinical sexologist and director of education at sexual wellness brand Satisfyer.
Myths and Misconceptions About Demisexuality
Demisexuality does not imply prudishness or aversion to sex. Demisexual people simply do not feel sexual attraction to new people. Demisexuality is also unrelated to moral or religious views on sex. It is not a choice, but rather a result of one’s sexual orientation.
It is also a myth that demisexuality indicates a lack of sex drive. Demisexual people have varying levels of sex drive once they are in a sexual relationship. Some people may have sex frequently, while others may not. It is also only referred to the type of attraction a person feels, not the frequency with which they have sex.
One common misconception is that demisexual people must be in love with someone in order to experience sexual attraction. Demisexuality necessitates a connection, which for many people can take the form of a close friendship or another type of non-romantic relationship.
Furthermore, If you only have sex with people you’ve known for a long time or with whom you have a close relationship, you’re not necessarily demisexual. Demisexuality is not a passing fad; it fuels the attraction that precedes sexual encounters.
What is the relationship between Demisexuality and other Sexualities?
Being demisexual does not preclude you from identifying with other sexualities, including homosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality, and even asexuality.
There are numerous sexual identities and expressions on the sexuality spectrum. That number will only grow as language and humans evolve. As a result, some people easily identify with more than one sexual identity. A person could, for example, be both gay and demisexual, bisexual and asexual, or a completely different combination.
“Sexuality is, in many ways, a fluid process of learning through the experience of connection. There are numerous ways to be intimate that are not sexual, and in many ways, demisexuality predisposes you to want to experience a broader spectrum of intimacy than just sexual intimacy “White continues.
Having sex when you’re Demisexual.
Because demisexuals require an emotional connection, it’s common to believe that they won’t have sex until they’re “in love.” Queen, on the other hand, claims that this isn’t always the case. “Many demisexuals can and do have sex without this connection—but many people end up having sex without much attraction because we, including demisexuals, have sex for so many different reasons.”
When it comes to sexual pleasure and demisexuality, everyone’s approach is different. However, the more time you spend connecting with yourself and discovering your sexual feelings, the better you’ll be able to please yourself and openly communicate your needs to your partner (s). This will also help you express what you don’t want in terms of sexual pleasure.
You should also not feel obligated or compelled to engage in a sexual experience with which you are not comfortable “Remember to do what feels right for you. That being said, if you’re up for it, don’t be afraid to try new things in the bedroom with yourself or a partner. Set boundaries with your partner as well as with yourself.”
Masturbation may also play a larger role in the life of a demisexual person because the deep connections they require with their partners may not always come easily. She recommends going at your own pace.
What should you do if your partner is demisexual?
If your partner identifies as demisexual, it is critical that you respect their boundaries and do not put pressure on them to have sex. If your partner has a lower sex drive than you or simply isn’t interested in sex right now due to their demisexuality, White suggests approaching them with a “‘I’ perspective, accompanied by a specific desire; as well as a bridge statement wanting to understand the way they feel as well.”
As an example:
- “I” statement: “I’m sorry we haven’t had sex, and I miss that kind of intimacy.”
- Desire statement: “I’d love to set aside some time for us to be alone and get really sensual, just to see where it takes us.”
- Transitional phrase: “Is that what you mean? I’m curious how hearing this desire makes you feel.”
- Statement of reflection from the demisexual partner: “I appreciate you sharing your emotions with me. I’m hearing you miss our physical intimacy and how you’d like to make more room for it—and I’d love to talk about how we could make that happen. Is that correct?”
By using this framework, you will give your partner the “opportunity to hear how you feel while being invited; into a vision of how you’d like to explore intimacy together,” according to White. “This also relieves pressure and allows them to mirror back a response, ensuring that you are both heard.”
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Am I Demisexual Quiz
There are so many different subcategories of broader categories when it comes to sexual orientation that it is difficult to keep them all straight. Have you investigated various sexual identity roles and are unsure which one best fits your desires and feelings about a relationship? You are not by yourself. Navigating all of these aspects of your sexual identity can be difficult and uncertain also.
Questions & Answers
1. In a relationship, which of these is most important to you?
A sincere connection
B. The relationship I have with someone I’m interested in.
C. Physical chemistry
2. Does your emotional connection influence how much you like someone?
A. On occasion
B. Yes, each and every time.
C. Not at all.
3. Have you ever felt a sexual attraction to someone you’ve just met or barely know?
A. No, not usually.
B. Never, ever. Before I can be sexually attracted to them, I need to know how we relate emotionally.
4. Do you ever feel like you have less sexual attraction to others than other people your age?
A. All of the time.
B. Occasionally, but mostly because I place a high value on developing an emotional connection first.
C. No, I’m attracted to anyone.
5. Have you ever had sex with someone to whom you are not sexually attracted?
A. On occasion
B. Never, ever
6. Do you ever have an emotional bond with someone but don’t necessarily want to be in a romantic relationship with them?
A. Yes, sometimes sex is necessary, and sometimes it isn’t. It’s usually not a big deal for me to factor into things.
B. Yes, I can have an emotional bond with someone and be sexually attracted to them while still refusing to have a sexual relationship with them. Everything is subject to change.
C. Romantic relationships are not my top priority.
7. Do you have a sexual preference when it comes to dating?
A. Not usually.
B. No, the most important factor for me is emotional connection.
C. No, I prefer not to have a sexual relationship.
8. Is your ideal relationship one based on traditional notions of love and romance?
A. Isn’t that everyone’s ambition?
B. No, that is not necessarily my goal.
C. Yes, that is the type of relationship and bond I would prefer with anyone.
9. Is sex a part of a relationship that is at the top of your priority list?
A. I rarely feel sexually attracted to anyone. It’s not a strong emotion of mine.
B. I believe that being sexually attracted to someone is the most important factor, regardless of whether we have sex or not.
C. Most of the time, I have little to no sexual attraction. It’s all about finding someone sexually attractive to me.
10. How long do you usually wait before having sexual relations with your partner?
A. Whenever I feel the time is right, but it usually happens by itself. Sometimes all I need is to feel close enough to them.
B. When I am emotionally attracted to someone, I am usually sexually attracted to them as well.
C. Sex is not a priority for me. If I find someone sexually appealing, I want to have sex with them.
Sexual identity has been and continues to be a fluid concept. This is evident when considering the term demisexuality, which only entered the English language in 2006 but has quickly become a popular term. You may feel like a “odd person out” in the world if you are demisexual, but you are not alone. Keep in mind to be true to yourself.
“No one, including demisexuals, wants to be boxed in, and the expansion of our vocabulary around sex and gender reflects that.” “Seide stated. “We are gradually but steadily moving away from the rigid binary terminology that has plagued our discussion of human sexuality for far too long.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I'm demisexual?
Demisexual people only experience sexual attraction after forming a strong emotional bond. This is distinct from rarely experiencing sexual attraction. Demisexual people may experience sexual attraction frequently and intensely, but only with people close to them.
Can a demisexual be straight?
Demisexual people are sexually attracted to others only when they have an emotional bond with them. They can be gay, straight, bisexual, or pansexual, and they can identify with any gender. The prefix “demi” means “half,” which can refer to being half-sexual or half-asexual.
is there a demisexual flag?
Flag of the Demisexual
The term “emotional bond” means different things to different people. The black chevron represents asexuality, the gray chevron represents gray asexuality and demisexuality, the white chevron represents sexuality, and the purple chevron represents the community in the demisexual flag.